Home > événements > rapports d'activités > Webinar – Biodiversity is Life: Rights of Nature vs Financialisation of Nature – Highlights

On the eve of Biodiversity Day, May 21, 2024, Navdanya International hosted the webinar, Biodiversity is Life: Rights of Nature vs Financialisation of Nature. The webinar was moderated by Ruchi Shroff, International Director of Navdanya International and featured Dr. Vandana Shiva, President of Navdanya International; Dr. Jessica Hutchings  of Papawhakarirtorito Trust, New Zealand; Frederic Hache of Green Finance Observatory, Brussels; and Silvia Francescon of the Italian Buddhist Union. 

The webinar covered the dominant mechanistic narrative of the Global North that considers Nature as a resource for extraction to the efforts of the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in living with nature, caring and protecting nature. Ruchi Shroff began the webinar explaining, “Through this discussion we hope  that we are able to  go beyond the reductionist industrial narratives of techno fixes of financialization of nature, and instead show what true solutions are, but also showcase the true stewards and guardians of biodiversity. Those that keep the systems of biodiversity alive.”

What we must recognise is that biodiversity, far from being an asset or a commodity, is a continuum. In resistance to the extractive worldview of the financial sector stands the worldview that recognizes the interconnectedness, interrelatedness, and interdependence of all facets of Creation and Life. Dr. Hutchings began by reminding us that, “Indigenous Peoples are 6% of the global population. Yet we care for and protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity….. The Earth is our teacher, as Indigenous people we are always listening to her.” Mother Earth is sentient and not isolated from the whole, protection of biodiversity means being in communion with the Earth.

Biodiversity is Life. Biodiversity weaves the web of life and is not a financial asset or commodity of corporations. As Dr. Shiva stated, « All of life is about flows, there is no static entity. That is why biodiversity weaves the infrastructure of life. Biodiversity is not a thing, object, a number. It is what defines us. »

But in the name of biodiversity “conservation” and “protection”, the financial sector is increasingly making calls for a new form of bio-imperialism through the false solution of financializing nature and biodiversity through a number of market mechanisms like biodiversity credits, and Nature Asset companies (NACs). These are the financial sector’s attempts to commodify whole ecosystems, in territories where there is the greatest biodiversity, the territories of indigenous peoples. As noted by Frederic Hache, “By creating biodiversity credit we are transferring our sovereignty to corporate actors that have no accountability. »

As opposed to the commodification of biodiversity is the recognition of the Rights of Nature, as the cultivation of biodiversity through honoring the complex web of relationships in nature and in living in harmony with it. Silvia Francescon highlighted, « Rights of Nature is not just a legalistic thing. It is very much the relationship of communities, how they live their interaction with the elements of nature.”

It is this relational paradigm that has gifted the biodiversity of soils, and the interrelationships of plants and animals, and that over millennia co-evolved into diverse cultures and knowledge systems based on health, resilience and care for the land. Nature’s rights and people’s rights are inseparable and fundamental to the health and the well-being of both humanity and the Earth.

At the end of the discussion the speakers gave advice for how young people should get involved in the protection of biodiversity. Dr. Hutching recommended, “the first place to start is with ourselves in our own relationship with nature.” With Silvia Francescon complimenting stating, “Make alliances, but I think with your own heads. Changing the narratives means to be critical towards what society is telling you to do and to think.” Frederic Hache also added that the narrative is, “ a battle for public opinion, and once you reach a critical mass then you can alter the course of this over these schemes. History again shows that a minority of dedicated people can also have a significant impact.”

This webinar marked the beginning of a longer collaborative campaign in the lead-up to the Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, to stand against the greater destruction of biodiversity and the greater financialization of nature.

Also see:

Biodiversity, Financialization of Nature and Biodiversity Credits

The Convention on Biological Diversity must resist the commodification of all life

Is the Kunming-Montreal Global biodiversity framework enough to protect biodiversity?

BIODIVERSITY IS LIFE – illustrated booklet

Biodiversity is Life – Graphic Novel 

Bio-imperialism vs. Bio-diversity

Resisting GMO Imperialism – Events in Mexico – March 2024

The Attempted Destruction of Biodiversity-based Cultures

Safeguarding Biodiversity for the Regeneration of the Land

Making Peace with the Earth – Through Diversity, Mutuality, Non-Violence & Care – An Ecofeminist Manifesto

Joint Declaration in Defense of our Biodiversity, Seed and Food Freedom – Resisting GMO Imperialism